AL DIVISION SERIES: ORIOLES v YANKEES
October 8, 2012Richmond High School
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: Game Two
Q. As a former catcher yourself, what Martin has done with his home runs at the end of games in the ninth innings, to do what he did with CC the whole night, to catch a whole game, to work with CC, get him through the tough spots, the physical parts of it, how hard is it to perform with the bat later in the game like that are you exhausted? Is it tough to come through?
JOE GIRARDI: It can be difficult after a long season for a catcher to be productive in those situations. I'm sure the couple of days off helped. The one thing we didn't do is I didn't feel like we really ever abused Russell during the course of the season. Him and Chris Stewart worked well together. But it's a long night. Russell is a strong man. Sometimes I think you forget how strong he is. But he's had some big hits for us. The month of September, some walk?off homers, really big.
Q. You've kind of moved Ichiro around a little bit since he's been here. What do you like about him in that 2 spot?
JOE GIRARDI: He's been getting on base. You look at what he's done since he's been here, August, September, what he did against left?handers in the month of September. He's just been extremely productive, and he's been on base a lot for us. So we decided to leave him there. Swish has been great in the 5 hole. He's been really productive over the last three weeks. Just kind of left our lineup the same.
Q. You had two early base?running plays that did not work out last night, Ichiro and Teixeira. Given the quality of your lineup, how aggressive or not do you want your guys being?
JOE GIRARDI: You know, we talk about situations, if the opportunity is there, take it. And sometimes the read is going to be wrong. The thought process is fine, but the read is wrong. And they're going to be out.
You can look at the inning where we scored a little bit later on where Alex goes, where Robby hits a bullet and it's a double play if he doesn't go. So it can work both ways against you. You don't want guys to get thrown out, but it's going to happen. I don't want to take away from necessarily their aggressiveness, and if the opportunity is there, take the extra base.
Q. Once Ichiro came over from Seattle he really kind of turned his season around. What do you think that trade did to revitalize his career?
JOE GIRARDI: It seemed to work out really well for both him and us. I think he's comfortable where he's at. I think he is around the guys a lot more that are his age group and his peer group in a sense. He's had a day off here and there. We've given him some days off, so I think he's remained fresh. He has not had to have been the focal point of the lineup and been the guy that's expected to produce a lot. He just needs to be part of what's a really deep lineup. And I think he's really enjoyed it.
Q. I know you've been asked about A?Rod a lot lately, but the guys behind him are hitting. Is there any scenario you see where you might move him out of the 3 spot?
JOE GIRARDI: I haven't thought about it. Our lineup has worked pretty well the way it's been set up, so I've kind of stuck with it. Obviously we want to get him going, and we know what he's capable of doing, and we saw it for about a three?week period in September where he was really good or maybe it was late August and September, and we just need to get him back. We need to get him back going.
Q. With A?Rod, what does he need to do to get going?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, it's just consistent contact is what it is and putting up good at?bats. The one thing he has done is he has taken some walks and I know, you think about No.3 hitter and you're not necessarily saying take some walks, but the bottom like is to keep the line moving and get on base, and he is finding ways to do that when he's not getting hits, and that's important, as well.
Q. Your decision to include Nuñez today, was that just a product of the matchup?
JOE GIRARDI: He's played well for us in the month of September and has done a pretty good job against left?handers, and we had him in the DH role a couple times, and we like the way he's swung the bat, so we put him in there. That's why we brought him.